I’m joining Emily over at Chatting at the Sky with what we’ve learned this month. You can check out my other “the things I’ve learned posts” HERE (I’m not very good at being consistent so I just have a few of them)
1. Let’s start out with the most important one…. I found the best donut in NYC….perhaps the best in America!
It’s at Dough in the Bed-stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn! Now, you really can’t go wrong ordering any of them. But the Lemon poppyseed one grabbed me and kissed me and wouldn’t let me go! It’s freaking amazing! (the classic glazed and coconut both competed for close second)
305 Franklin St.
Brooklyn, NY (Bedford-Stuyvesant)
2. Deleting games off my iphone was the best decision ever! A little over a month ago I deleted all the games off my iphone. I was timid doing it… but when my kids woke up wanting to play games I knew they had to go. I didn’t know what to expect… but after about 48 hours, they stopped asking and haven’t asked to play since. They have enjoyed way more time being creative and using their imaginations. They still play on their grandparents phones/ipads when they visit them but otherwise we are a game free home. And I’m SO glad we are. Don’t think I’m that awesome… I still don’t mind sticking them in front of Disney Jr. for a few hours every day. But for some reason the TV just doesn’t have the same pull (except maybe with Zoe) as the games were having…. so I feel better about them watching it vs. that and games.
3. Mission trips aren’t the same when you’re a busy mom of toddlers. My husband and I spent a week in NYC leading 27 highschoolers on a mission trip. And I think I learned that this wasn’t going to be like other mission trips I’ve been on even before the trip began. I was tired… I was weary… I wanted rest…. I wanted encouragement…. I wanted one on one time with my husband… and as the trip came closer I knew that this was only going to make those desires of my heart deeper. New York City will chew you up and spit you out after a few days. It’s a hard city to be in…. mind you it’s the most incredible city to be in at the same time. It’s a city Dan and I LOVE!! We honeymooned there (don’t ever do that!) and we’ve been back with friends and just ourselves and on mission trips as well. We LOVE it! We wouldn’t even mind moving there someday to raise our crazy kids there and everything! But this trip…. well, it was hard from day one. The teens reminded me that it’s hard to encourage them to stop thinking of themselves and to joyfully pick up trash in 16 degree weather when that was the last thing I wanted to be doing… or to not complain about being tired when every part of me was aching to lie down in my bed. It was hard. Dan was in charge so his thoughts and actions were all focused on leading this group all over the boroughs of NYC so focusing on his wife wasn’t what this trip was about…even though he was very thoughtful of me on trip, but we both knew he had a job to do. But at least I had a crazy good donut place to eat my feelings at. 😉
But God sustained… He always does. God used much of that trip to teach me and expose my heart and to remind me how much He loves people wherever they are at in their journey towards Him.
While I think that I won’t be rushing to sign up for many mission trips anytime soon, I do know that God used this time to bring me to the point where I was completely drained and weary to the point where I cried a lot the week after I got home. I needed to cry. I needed to talk to God a lot and often that’s how my heart becomes exposed as tears start to fall.
4. I truly have never met a stranger. People have always given me a hard time about how outgoing I am, but I think I realized on the above mentioned trip to NYC that Meeting people makes me come alive!! I LOVE it! I love hearing their stories, I love meeting people who I would never typically hang out with or cross paths with, I love asking questions that you wouldn’t ask someone unless you had that freedom of having just met them. (I think we become less honest and open at times the longer we know someone, maybe because there is more at risk if the conversation goes wrong.) That being said… I LOVE big cities, airports, airplane trips, buses, subways, big stores, etc…. People, they just are incredible to me! It’s funny though, if I want to get in and out of a store or just walk around and think… I go to Target, but if I’m in any other mood… I go to Walmart because you can meet and talk to some people up in Walmart!! Love chatting people up about all sorts of black hair care in Walmart!
My two favorite strangers that I met in NYC were on subways and one was a gentleman who builds restaurants all over Manhattan…. after having a delightful conversation about his job and what we were doing there in NYC from Texas, right before he got off he reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of money and handed me a $100 bill and told us to go get some donuts and coffee and thanked us for serving his city. The second one was a lady… probably my age and she had a plastic bird on top of her head…. just sitting there on top of her head. I tried to restrain myself but I HAD to ask her about it. So I did and come to find out she has always liked hats but didn’t think her head was the right size for most hats, so she pinned a bird on top of her head once when she was 16 and she liked how it looked and has been wearing birds on her head ever since…. and she was the most confident person in the world doing so.
I also got to meet in person two mommas who I have connected with through Instagram! Sarah…. whose family is from Mississippi and they have the sweetest southern drawl you ever did hear. You can read her blog and their adventures in NYC HERE. They live in the cool neighborhood of Clinton Hill… where I found the BEST pizza I have ever eaten!! The second mom I met was THIS blog writer, Kristen. She is fearlessly (okay… probably more like trusting God in spite of the fears) raising her 4 kiddos in Manhattan… you can throw a rock from their apartment and it will land in Central Park. These families love Jesus and love the city and love their babies!! I was able to get to sneak off for a few minutes on two different days to meet these incredible women and watch them do life in their city dwellings! I’m so grateful to have met them and they were very encouraging to me during a long cold week in their neck of the woods.
5. Thrift stores are cheap therapy. I don’t know what it is about them but it’s truly like therapy for me. body mind and soul…. I come out of a thrift store renewed. My mind loves it because it’s a place I can go and not think about anything except going through clothes and things and my heart loves doing it because it’s caring for my family at a price that is right and my soul is renewed because I often meet (see #3) people whom I have great conversations with or I am often reminded of people who are struggling financially on a different level than we do or ever have but yet they seem to be thrifting together as a family and with joy! Dan and I had a conference to go to in Austin last weekend and Austin has the BEST thrift stores ever!!! So he loved me well and let me go to a few and now my kids have their summer wardrobes and I have had my therapy! #i’mgonnapopsometags #thisisfreakinawesome
6. Pre-conferences aren’t worth it. I’m not a conference junkie… but I do love them! (Okay, probably if money did grow on trees I would be a conference junkie) Anyway, I’ve been to two this spring. The Linger Conference in Dallas (AWESOME!!! will definitely go again next year!) and Dan and I just went to the VERGE conference in Austin last weekend. Which was GREAT!! I learned so much about Family on Mission and Making Disciples and who to invest in around you. Maybe more about that will be in what I learned in April as I try to work in out in my everyday life. Anyway, Both conferences offered pre-conferences at a low add-on cost, so we added them on. But I wasn’t impressed with either Pre-conference…. and after going to the actual conference realized that a lot of the pre-conference is just hearing the same stuff before every one else does in a smaller setting. No thank you… not anymore…can I get those two days back?
7. Mae Whitman from Parenthood is the voice of Tinkerbell. Who knew? My kids LOVE some Tinkerbell movies and usually I’m pretty darn good and pinpointing where I’ve heard a voice before when it comes to animated movies, (if you like doing that… The rise of the Gaurdians is a fun one! Lots of stars in that one.) but I never picked her to be Tinkerbell’s voice!